Classic cars have their charm, and for a good reason. Many of their most iconic features have gone the way of the dodo bird, making them a true relic lost to time. However, thanks to the diligence of classic car enthusiasts everywhere, prime examples still roam the roadways and hide in garages. Upon getting a glimpse of these masterpieces – or better yet, adding your favourite classic cars to your stable – you can find many features you won’t find on modern vehicles. Take a walk down memory lane with these old car features.
Long before parking sensors came on the scene, curb feelers did the heavy lifting in helping you avoid hitting your fancy rims and whitewall tires on the curb. These long steel whiskers poked out from behind the tires, allowing them to signal your arrival at the ideal parking position by making a scraping sound as you pulled up curbside.
Speaking of whitewall tires, where did they go anyway? Their disappearance largely coincides with car tires losing sidewall height, resulting in a much thinner, less attractive stripe. You can still get them for your classic cars if you’re willing to pay the price, but they’re not likely to show up on modern vehicles any time soon.
Once upon a time, air conditioning was a luxury reserved for only the finest automobiles. Thankfully, wing windows were the answer for the rest of the pack. Located next to the main front or rear windows, these little quarter glass windows swung open with ease to direct airflow your way on demand.
Adaptive headlights follow the road while you turn and illuminate the way ahead, but it wasn’t always that way. Well before the adaptive models came on scene, high-end classic cars had cornering lights to do the job. Since they turned on with a flick of the turn signal, their rudimentary design made them seem as smart as they looked.
High-Beam Switch on the Floor
Back in the day, most classic cars had their high-beam switch on the floor – usually underneath another relic: the parking brake pedal. With the tap of the foot, this switch would brighten up your headlights, while another tap brought them back to normal levels. As footwell space decreased, the button made its way onto the multi-use stalk switches on the steering column
On classic cars, windshield wipers often had just two speeds: on and off. So, when it was only raining lightly, you had to switch the wipers on and off to keep the rubber from dragging across the semi-dry glass. And when it was pouring? Good luck. Hopefully, the wipers would keep up. Otherwise, you had to find a safe place to stop and wait for the storm to blow over.
T-tops once served as the perfect compromise between a full roof and convertible while adding endless sex appeal to the vehicle design. Above all else, they allowed the car to keep its structural rigidity while ensuring you could still enjoy the wind blowing through your hair. Despite that, they were cumbersome, leaky, and prone to breakage, resulting in their permanent removal in 2002.
Designed to mimic the classy look of horse-drawn carriages, landau roofs were all the rage in the 70s and well into the 80s. The vinyl top added a bit of pizazz to the plain full roof, creating a high-end convertible look without the extra weight of a drop-top. As modern cars developed a bubblier appearance, the fake vinyl top fell out of favour with the quickness.
Manual Locks and Windows
In the past, electronics were not an integral part of the car design. As a result, manual windows and door locks were the norm. Only the finest luxury automobiles had their electric equivalents, leaving most drivers in charge of manual operations. Nowadays, even base models come with electric door locks and windows, which has people guessing whether the youngest generations will know a window crank when they see one.
Old car features are not the only thing to set classic cars apart from their modern counterparts. Their car insurance needs differ as well. Collector car insurance is a must if you want to protect your investment and enjoy true peace of mind on all your travels. So, if you ever get a chance to add the classic car of your dreams to your life, be sure to invest in the right type of insurance coverage to fully protect your ride.